Manchester Jewish Museum is moving to the basement of Manchester Central Library as an interactive pop-up museum whilst its permanent home, a former synagogue on Cheetham Hill Road, is closed for construction work.
The pop-up will have artefacts, historic photographs and recordings to share the story of Jewish Manchester. To explore the museum more interactively, artist Kirsty Harris has designed an ‘object selection machine’, which allows visitors to choose certain objects from Jewish history and hear stories about them.
Objects include a policeman’s truncheon from WW1, a 19th Century muff maker and a 1940s kosher ration book.
For visiting schools, the Museum has introduced a ‘synagogue in a box’ – an opportunity for children to use arts and crafts to create their very own synagogue whilst learning about the Jewish faith.
The pop-up museum will officially be opened on Monday 15th July, and will be open to the public the following day. The new pop-up museum will be open Monday to Thursday from 9am until 8pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 9am until 5pm.
“We’re thrilled to be moving into such a busy and prestigious venue as Central Library,” said Museum chief executive Max Dunbar. “With over 1.5million Library users a year, we will be able to share the stories of Jewish Manchester with even more people, building up excitement ahead of our grand re-opening in 2021”.
Built in 1874 by textile merchants, the Grade II listed synagogue, which is in desperate need of repair due to its age, has been awarded a grant by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which will restore the original architecture and double the size of the building, allowing room for a new gallery, cafe, shop and learning studio. The new building will open in 2021.